Paris Muse in the News
Journalists interested in reporting on Paris Muse may contact us via our online contact form or by phone at (011) +33 6 73 77 33 52.
Elizabeth Thorp, "36 Hours in Paris Avec Enfants: 5 Things to Do and See, Huffington Post
April 13, 2012
"Paris Muse has a group of family-focused tours to make your experience in Paris a lasting memory for your children. We chose the Paris Muse Clues: A Family Tour for Young Treasure Hunters of The Louvre. Our guide, Emma, was from Ireland but was in Paris studying art and was a wonderful and patient guide for the girls. Emma's tour allowed us and the girls to learn from the same works of art, but the kids received motivation through "Paris Muse Clues," our educational and interactive treasure hunt through a broad range of collections (Ancient Near East, Greek and Roman, Renaissance Italian, French), asking specific and detailed questions about many of the Louvre's masterpieces....This is a wonderful way to for families to experience Parisian art and culture and keep children engaged and interested in learning more."
Kirsti Marcelle, "A Scavenger Hunt in the Louvre with Paris Muse," Ciao Bambino!
"...The guide had an art degree and told us so many interesting facts about the painters and the artwork. You could tell that she liked having kids on the tour and knew how to keep them interested. Although the Louvre tour is labeled as a family tour, both the kids and adults liked it equally and I would go back and take the tour again as an adult without the kids!"
Eleanor Beardsley, "Thieves Steal Picasso, Matisse Paintings,"All Things Considered, NPR Radio
Paris Muse founder discusses the MAMVP heist as an educational and historical—rather than financial— loss:
"Professor ELLEN MCBREEN (Art History, Wheaton College): I could teach an abbreviated history of art in France - 1905, 1922 - with just these five paintings because they are, you know, that rich in ideas and innovations. And one of the great losses, of course is that collections are arranged to tell stories, and now five chapters of that story are gone."
Katie Bowman, "Take a Crash Course in Parisian Art," New York Post
If only there was a way to see the city that every other American didn't know about. Enter Ellen McBreen and her tour company, Paris Muse. She describes her tours like French meals: "Small and delicious."...Paris Muse is staffed by a small group of international art historians -- that doesn't translate into lectures, homework and quizzes, but a one-to-one gallery tour looking at movements, seminal works and significant artists, and how they all fit together.
Nigel Tisdall, "Ten Ways to Love the Louvre," Telegraph UK
Book a tour with Paris Muse (www.parismuse.com). Led by art historians in groups of no more than four, these follow themes such as Hidden Masterpieces and the History of Paris. From €85 (£70), including admission; family tours are also available.
Sally Horchow, "Paris People," Indagare.com
Paris-based art historian Ellen McBreen came up with the idea for Paris Muse when she was teaching part-time (while completing a dissertation for New York University) and noticed that as she led her classes around the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou, curious museumgoers would tag along to hear what she was saying. Paris Muse now offers intimate, interactive tours for groups of no more than four people, customized for English speakers wanting to get the most out of their museum visits.
Since McBreen knows the most efficient preticketed entrances at all the major cultural institutions, her clients spend little, if any, time standing in line. And her team of historians, teachers and writers are engaging and knowledgeable. Having an enthusiastic Princeton Ph.D. candidate explain Paris’s evolution through the Louvre’s large historical paintings spoiled me for audioguides forever. McBreen’s own two-hour Age of the Impressionists tour of the Musée d’Orsay was another highlight: Without her, I might have waited on line for hours and headed straight for the greatest-hits second floor, bypassing the fascinating works on the first, which are definitely not to be missed.
"Guide to Get," Departures Magazine
While teaching art history at the American University of Paris, Ellen McBreen often used the Louvre as her classroom. She noticed her students were frequently trailed by English-speaking museumgoers who listened to her lecture intently, thrilled to find a smart alternative to dreary audio guides and sightseeing groups.
“Clues in the Louvre,” The Sunday Telegraph (London)
Paris Muse offers intimate tours with art historians….Pamela, our guide, met us at the Arc du Carrousel outside the Louvre. She had an academic’s pale skin and an instantly engaging manner….Pamela’s erudition was enthralling…away from the crush of the Grand Gallery, the Louvre was a haven of calm.
"Paris tourists seek 'Da Vinci Code' clues" CNN.com
Like other academics, McBreen challenges some of the notions put forward by Brown -- but don't expect a sanctimonious lecture. The genial 34-year-old slips in humorous asides and encourages participants to voice their opinions, expert or not...."Although our goal is to help people separate fact from fiction, we realize that simply correcting Brown's ideas by trotting out the traditional scholarship would be dull and horribly pretentious," McBreen added. "The tour is intended to be an interactive discovery, a conversation."
"Facts about Fiction," New York Times
Ellen McBreen, a Harvard-educated art historian and founder of the tour service Paris Muse, said she challenges some of the theories in the novel but tries not to undermine its joys during her popular ''Cracking the Da Vinci Code at the Louvre'' tour.
"Deep into the 'Code'," Los Angeles Times
On a rainy day in Paris last week, 50-year-old Linda Ackerman headed to the Louvre for a bit of detective work. Her checklist included the "Mona Lisa," a painting that she had seen before — but not this way, not with new eyes on the "Cracking the Da Vinci Code at the Louvre" tour by Paris Muse.
Ackerman, who works as a bank officer in Philadelphia, had been considering a trip to Paris when a friend dangled the piece de resistance — the special Louvre tour. The 2-1/2-hour tour has been offered by Paris Muse since February and has become the guide service's most popular, said director Ellen McBreen, an art historian with degrees from Harvard and New York University.
"For me, the thunderbolt came when visitors to the Louvre started asking me questions like, 'Is this the room where the curator was murdered in "The Da Vinci Code?" ' " McBreen said.
"Louvre Tour Helps Break Da Vinci Code," Detroit Free Press
March 21, 2004
Themes raised in the book -- pagan symbols in Christian art, the role of Mary Magdalene, and the theory of the "sacred feminine" -- are fairly complex ideas. McBreen takes her customers toward understanding. You might start by knowing only what you read in the book, but you'll end up wiser about art.
"Finding Your Muse," Paris Notes
"As with all [Paris Muse] tours, my guide Ellen was waiting for me with a tour-related reading list and my ticket in hand. We whisked past the crowd into the sun-drenched gardens. From there on out, it was a neophyte art lover's dream come true. As we examined Rodin's masterful 'Gates of Hell,' I noticed a tiny, strange sculpture at the bottom right of the doors. A lithe, naked nymph was balanced precariously on the shoulder of a gaunt, bearded man. I asked Ellen about it, convinced that I'd get a vague response at best.
"'That was Rodin's signature for this piece,' Ellen explained. 'It shows the artist being visited by a female muse as a source of inspiration, but it also shows how Rodin was obsessed by sexuality....' Wow. This was nothing like the audio guide."
"The Art Whisperer," France Today
"It was perhaps a little early in the day to be discussing the difference between naked and nude in modern art. The moment my private guide began explaining the subtleties of this distinction, with Manet's "Olympia" (1863) boldly staring right back at us, I realized immediately that this would be no ordinary museum morning at the Musée d'Orsay...
The experience proved to be both educational and entertaining, banishing the dusty ghosts of bygone art history courses...My knowledgeable instructor Ellen McBreen made the mini-course a lively, interactive conversation between the two of us, neatly folding my observations into her discussion of the Impressionists. McBreen kept me steadily focused on understanding the artists' innovations in the context of late-19th-century art, and the 90-minute tour flew by without a mid-lecture nap."
"Paris Tours Made Simple" Pick of the Week, TimeOut Paris
April 16-22, 2003
"Paris Muse takes small groups on tutorial-style visits of the capital's art scene, with itineraries stretching from the Impressionists at the Musée d'Orsay to temporary exhibitions."
"Summer School?" Wall Street Journal
June 7, 2002
"As part of a program called Paris Muse, visitors to the Louvre can hire an English-speaking art historian for a one-on-one tutorial on important works hanging in the famous French museum."
Paris In Sites Newsletter
"I had a wonderful tour of the Matisse-Picasso exhibit at the Grand Palais with Ellen McBreen of Paris Muse...I greatly enjoyed Ellen's very professional and personalized tour. We avoided what Ellen calls the 'slow moving herds' at this hugely popular exhibit... Ellen already had my ticket so we whizzed straight to the exhibit.
"The influence of African art on both Matisse and Picasso was a revelation for me and Ellen 'walked' me through what I'd say are more complex and harder to 'understand' Picasso paintings...She really helped me understand the differences as well as the similarities that I would not have 'seen' visiting the exhibit on my own."
"Lectures On The Hoof," France Magazine
"Culture vultures can now have their own art historian to accompany them on visits round their favourite Paris attractions like the Musée Rodin..."